Monthly Archives: November 2008

Hometown holiday fun in Cochise County

Celebrate the holidays with some hometown holiday fun this weekend in Cochise County.

Dec. 5 & 6 Christmas Apple Festival, Willcox

Celebrate the holidays A country crafts fair featuring handcrafted arts and crafts and quality reproductions. Art Show, door prizes and loads of holiday fun!

Details:  10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Christmas Lighted Parade: 6 p.m. on Dec. 6 in owntown Willcox. Admission is free. Info: 520-384-2272

Dec. 5 & 6, Holiday Fashion Show & Fair, Douglas

Merchants will host a fashion show and fair in downtown Douglas. Friday’s festivities begin with the free fashion show in the beautiful Gadsden Hotel lobby. Afterward, the Cochise College Choir will entertain with songs of the season. On Saturday, they will close the streets for crafts, vendors, a car show, sidewalk sales and a visit from Santa Claus.

Details: Fashion show begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Gadsden Hotel lobby. The choir will sing at 7 p.m. Info available from the Hotel Gadsden at 520-364-4481

Dec. 5-7, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Bisbee

Join the Bisbee Repertory Theatre and the Bisbee Community Chorus for a night of music and entertainment!

Details:  7 p.m. Fri. & Sat.; 3 p.m. Sun. at the Bisbee Repertory Theatre. Admission is free. Info: 520-432-3554 or 1-800-2BISBEE.

Dec. 6, Christmas Lighted Parade, Willcox

Kick off the Christmas season with a lighted parade in downtown Willcox. Enjoy music and free hot dogs, hot chocolate and apple cider for the kids.

Details:  6:30 p.m. in downtown Willcox. Admission is free. Info:  520-384-2272.

Dec. 6, 50th Annual Christmas Night of Lights, Sierra Vista

An evening parade starts the holiday season at Sierra Vista’s “Christmas Parade of Lights.”

Details: 5:30 p.m. on Fry Blvd from Buffalo Trail to Coronado Blvd. Admission is free. Info:  520-458-6940

Dec, 6 & 7, Cascabel Community Fair, Cascabel

The 28th Annual Cascabel Community Fair will be held on the banks of the San Pedro River, 10 a.m to 4 p.m. It is a celebration of rural Arizona’s beauty and artistic expression. Call 520-212-2529 for more information.

Dec. 7, Holiday Tour of Officers’ Homes, Fort Huachuca

A uniformed soldier will greet you at each officer’s home, beautifully decorated for the holiday season. 

Details: 1 to 5 p.m. at Brown Parade Field on Fort Huachuca. Admission:  $10 in advance, $12 day of tour. Info:  520-417-6960

Note: Fort Huachuca is an active military installation. Visitor passes are available to US citizens at the post’s main gate with a valid driver’s license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance (or rental car agreement). All passengers over 13 must have photo identification.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Ahhh. I love Thanksgiving. Turkey? Meh. It’s the dressing, sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce that makes Thanksgiving for me. I’ll have a little bit of turkey to get some protein in, but I gravitate to all the fixin’s! A couple of years ago, I headed down to Bisbee and had Thanksgiving at the Copper Queen Hotel. They had a buffet loaded with yummy stuff, and they’re having dinner this year, too.

What are you doing after the feasting day? If you’re traveling in southern Arizona Thanksgiving weekend, you might want to check out some of the sights and events in Cochise County. See my last post for events.

A couple of other things you can do:

If your turkey was too tough to eat, maybe you should visit the “town too tough to die.” Tombstone is a great place to visit for a taste of the Old West. Check out Boot Hill Cemetery, the Western Heritage Museum and Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park. Walk the boardwalk sidewalks and duck into one of the saloons that Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday frequented.

Take a trip over to Gammons Gulch in Cascabel, near Benson. I like to describe this attraction as the “Antiques Roadshow on steroids.” Owners Jay and Joanne Gammons have recreated a Western town and loaded it with authentic memorabilia and artifacts from the Old West. They’ve even brought entire buildings!

Amerind Foundation Museum. Photo courtesy of Cathy Murphy

Amerind Foundation Museum. Photo courtesy of Cathy Murphy

The Amerind Foundation Museum is a great place to explore. It’s in Dragoon, a little hamlet between Benson and Willcox. Next door is the Triangle T Guest Ranch. They can arrange horseback rides and you can hike in Texas Canyon, a beautiful spot with gigantic boulders.

John Slaughter Ranch. Photo courtesy of Cathy Murphy


John Slaughter Ranch. Photo courtesy of Cathy Murphy

John Slaughter Ranch near Douglas is the ranch that was owned by a small, tough man. Once the Cochise County sheriff, Slaughter was responsible for cleaning up some of the Wild West. He built a ranch in the midst of what is now called the San Bernardino Wildlife area. A natural spring on the ranch makes it incredibly lush for being in the desert. This is a great place for a picnic. You could bring leftover turkey sandwiches and enjoy the beautiful setting!

Check out Coronado Vineyards in Willcox. Chef Gary will cook if you don’t want to have leftovers on Friday night. Visit Bisbee or Sierra Vista to do some Black Friday shopping!

These are just a few ideas. Cochise county is bigger than the state of Connecticut, so there are plenty of places to explore. If you can’t make it this weekend, get a free visitors guide and plan a trip soon.

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Thanksgiving weekend events

After the turkey is gone, what are you going to do? If you have the weekend off, you might want to get out of the house and take a drive to Cochise County (hey, gas prices are trending below $2 a gallon. Take advantage of it!).

A few fun events are happening. Forego the madness of Black Friday and head out of town for a laid back weekend before the holiday season really kicks into a frenzy!

 Nov. 24 to Dec. 6, 8th Annual Festival of Trees, Sierra Vista

The Festival of Trees fills the Mall at Sierra Vista each Christmas, creating a beautiful winter wonderland of uniquely decorated trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses, and, new this year, stockings! Awards will be given in various categories.  

Details: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mall at Sierra Vista, 2200 El Mercado Loop. Admission is free. Info: 520-417-4990.  

Nov. 28, Festival of Lights, Bisbee

The holiday season officially begins with a merry lighting ceremony and celebration in front of the Copper Queen Library. Santa will arrive in Old Bisbee on a flashy fire truck with goodies for all children. 

Details: 6 p.m., Nov. 28 at the Copper Queen Library, Admission is Free; Info: 520-432-6016

Nov. 29, Old Bisbee Holiday Bazaar, Bisbee

Spend the afternoon and evening in Historic Old Bisbee for a holiday shopping adventure. Shop owners offer holiday decor, special sales, food, and street performers to add to your shopping experience.  

Details: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Historic Old Bisbee, Admission is free. Info at 520-432-3554 or 1-800-2BISBEE.

Nov. 29, 6th Annual Art Chairs Auction, Bisbee

Local artists use various mediums to transform ordinary chairs into artistic works. Bid on the chairs in a silent auction and take one home to benefit charity.

Details: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free. Info: 520-432-3721 or 1-866-2BISBEE. 

Nov. 28 & 29, Historic Home Tour, Bisbee

Bisbee residents open their homes to give visitors a look at the town’s distinctive architectural history. This year’s tour is “All Around Town” featuring homes in the Warren district, Old Bisbee and Saginaw.

Details: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Admission: is $15 for adults and $5 for children. Info: 520-432-3554 or 1-866-2BISBEE. 

Nov. 29 & 30, Bisbee Gem & Mineral Show

Marvel at a display of magnificent gems & minerals for your pleasure or your purchase.  Located at the Queen Mine Tour, a short walk from Historic Bisbee.

Details: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Queen Mine Tour. Admission is free. Info: 520-432-2071 or 520-432-3554.

WWII — Honoring Local Veterans, Sierra Vista
The stories of World War II veterans from the San Pedro Valley and those who have settled in the area are presented. Discover the war’s impact on Ft. Huachuca and Arizona. 

Details:  Wednesdays 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Fridays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Henry Hauser Museum, 2950 E. Tacoma St. Admission is free. Info: 520-417-6960 or

Arizona Folklore Preserve, Sierra Vista

This wonderful series spotlights artists and musicians of Arizona who are vocal historians of its legacy and history. Featuring Dolan Ellis, Arizona’s Official State Balladeer and other invited guest artists.
Details: 2 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays. The Arizona Folklore Preserve is at 44 E. Ramsey Canyon Road. Admission is $15 for adults and $6 for students 17 and under. Reservations are required. Info:  520-378-6165 or

You can also take a hike. Visit Chiricahua National Monument, Fort Bowie National Historic SiteRamsey Canyon or the San Bernardino Wildlife Refuge.

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Wyatt Earp statue


Last week we told you about the new statue going in at the Wyatt Earp House and Gallery in Tombstone. I have pictures! Quite a few people were there. Another homage to the Old West and the famous gunfight.

Were you there? What do you thnk of the 8-foot bronze? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.



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Thanksgiving Fiesta at Singing Wind Bookshop

Arizona Highways says a bookstore is “the last thing you’d expect to find on a working ranch in a wide expanse of cactus and creosote.”

But find it you will just north of Benson. The Singing Wind Bookshop will hold its annual Thanksgiving Fiesta, Nov. 23. The store’s owner, Winn Bundy, embodies the West’s can do spirit. She developed the store as a labor of love–in her home on a working ranch!

The event will feature southern Arizona writers reading from their recently published works.

Authors to be at the event:

When: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 23

Where: 700 W. Singing Wind Road , Benson

Admission: Free

Info: 520-586-2425

Complimentary valet parking will be provided.

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Wyatt Earp statue to be unveiled

An eight-foot bronze statue will be unveiled in Tombstone. The statue was completed by master sculptor, Tim Trask, who works out of A Gallery of Dreams, his family’s gallery in St. David, just south of Benson.

Tim Trask sculpts Wyatt Earp's likeness

Tim Trask sculpts Wyatt Earp

The statue, titled “Stepping into Legend,” will be unveiled at 2:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 14. It shows Earp poised to take that first stride toward the notorious O.K. Corral and the famous Old West gun battle. The event will take place at the Wyatt Earp House and Gallery, located at 102 E. Fremont St.

The Earp family will be represented at the event by Ralph N. Earp from Pennsylvania. Steve Vermillion of Missouri will appear for the “Federal Posse.” Wild West History Association founding president, Bob McCubbin, will be called upon to address the audience. Terry “Ike” Clanton will be asked to say a few words on behalf of “The Cowboys,” including The Notorious Clanton Clan.

A limited-edition 22-inch bronze replica of “Stepping into Legend” will be available at the event. Only 30 of the bronze macquettes (replicas) will be produced. More than half have been purchased already.  

For more information about the statue, please call The Gallery of Dreams at 520-720-2649 or email

About the Wyatt Earp House and Gallery: The lawman’s original home, tiny by today’s standards at only 378 square feet, has been restored by owners Jim and Liz Allen. Today, it is open to the public and houses a fine art gallery. It is located at 102 E. Freemont Street in Tombstone. Visit the website for more information on the home’s restoration.

Visit the Cochise County website for more Old West and ranching history.

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Why blog? Why travel?

san-pedro-house-autumn-cottonwoodI just came across a blog post that posed an interesting question: Why? A few people left comments sharing why they blog. It’s well done and thought provoking.

Granted, it doesn’t have anything to do with travel or Cochise County, but I thought it would be an interesting way to stimulate discussion. Naturally, it follows that I will ask this question: why do you travel?

I travel because it’s good for the soul. and it expands the mind. Never mind that recent idea of the “staycation.” Even if you can’t travel around the world, it’s good to get away and see some place new. 

So why do you travel? Click on the comments button below, and share your thoughts!


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